April 2021

The Joy of Obedience

It is always wonderful to hear the miraculous testimony of someone who has turned from a sinful life to accept God’s grace and salvation. However, I believe it is equally powerful to acknowledge the life of one who has consistently followed God when faced with life’s decisions. As I reflect over my life, I remember many times when the choice to be obedient resulted in joy. While I have made poor choices and needed to seek God’s forgiveness, my obedience to God in many important life decisions resulted in deep joy!

Life Abundantly

My life has been a testament of God's grace to overcome challenges in a miraculous way. He enables me to not only survive painful situations but also thrive despite them, in what Jesus calls the abundant life (John 10:10).

I was born with a rare heart condition—my heart is literally on the opposite side of my body, functioning in a way that is entirely unnatural—a condition known as L-transposition of the great arteries. This rare deformity caused loss of blood to other parts of my body, which my parents were told would eventually (and probably quickly) lead to my certain death.

Almost Born in Church

I was the first child born into a church plant my parents helped start. This was back in the day when the members literally built the church themselves—my father ran all of the electrical work in the church building. One evening, my mother delivered dinner to the workers but ended the night at the hospital to deliver me. So when I say, “I was almost born in the church,” I mean it literally!

A Sustained Call

I grew up in Iowa and was called by God to ministry at the age of 10. This call was recognized and affirmed by a local pastor, and on July 2, 1972, I had the opportunity to preach my first-ever sermon at this pastor’s church. Later, I was ordained under his leadership when he became district superintendent. It has been a wonderful journey ever since!